Independent Schools Sector HR Network Day held at Trinity Grammar SchoolJohn Blois
In any organisation, HR leaders have a huge responsibility to ensure the right structures and support are in place for every employee’s personal and professional wellbeing. It’s a big task and one that is constantly evolving. Trinity’s HR Department has teamed up with others from across the Independent Schools sector to share knowledge and provide valuable support.
“HR posts are often isolated and the specific knowledge across the wider individual organisations is limited,” says Ms Belinda Reid, Head of Human Resources. “Our business is ‘people’ and people are complex, so having a network of like-minded, knowledgeable colleagues to reach out to is invaluable.”
Starting as an email group several years ago, this collaboration between HR representatives from across the Independent Schools sector has recently started to meet in person.
“We saw a need to support each other,” Ms Reid says. “Last term we had our first face-to-face gathering organised by the members at Stella Maris, hosted by Esty Christodoulou (People and Culture) and so, the tradition has started.”
Ms Christydoulou remarked on the helpfulness of such a Network: “It is wonderful to be building a community of professionals that are committed to collaboration.”
The latest event is a HR Network Day at Trinity. Taking place on the first Tuesday of the winter School holidays, with the goal of building a supportive HR community. Attendees included familiar faces, as well as some new faces joining from schools as far flung as Orange, Newcastle, Penrith, the Northern Beaches and Canberra.
The HR Network Day is about more than just getting together – there are organised sessions and informal activations to ensure every attendee is gets the most out of the day.
“Although this is a HR organised event, we have worked collaboratively with TGS colleagues in Campus Administration, Library, Operations, Co-curricular and leadership to ensure the day is engaging, organised and a meaningful learning opportunity for all.”
Throughout the day, both internal and external speakers ran various sessions, including:
- Three sessions led by Elliot Taylor from Trinity’s Strength and Conditioning team on Health and Wellbeing
- Kathryn Taylor from Wellbeing Australia led a session on managing HR wellbeing
- David Ball and Fayez Doumit from International SOS headed up a session on assessing psychosocial hazards and risks in an organisational setting and strategies to combat them
- Simon Withers, NSW State Manager and Mitch Jones, a Senior Team Leader from Executive Search ANZUK shared about an international project he is leading to help to overcome the teacher shortage crisis
- Simon Spence from the AIS Workplace Relations team came to talk to the group about psychosocial and Fair Work changes in a school context
35 people attended the event, growing significantly since their last meeting. The team received great feedback from several Network members.
“The whole day was terrific and you and your team were extremely generous,” said Paul from Kinross Wolaroi.
“Holding an event like this provides an opportunity for the HR team, the S&C team and other key personnel to see what is happening, and influence and contribute to the wider people space, while also providing informal opportunities to build connections and work together to make work life better for all.”
The Trinity team also put together some fun sessions, focusing on wellbeing and mindfulness distractions, which will be utilised at the next Trinity Professional Development Day.
Far from an isolated event, Ms Reid says there are big plans for the future.
“The HR team are planning to make this an annual event, and hope to extend the opportunities to more TGS staff in other areas of School operations by establishing Networking opportunities for areas such as Admin, Sports Management and Operations.”
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